Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have implemented closures and other changes. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities, and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis. As changes are made to increase access to recreation in the parks, updates will be posted here.
Access to areas of Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument are managed by the US Forest Service. For more information on the status of nearby US Forest Service lands, please visit the Sequoia National Forest website. For information on Lake Kaweah, run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, visit their website.
Beginning June 4, 2020
During the earliest phase of increased access, roads, trails, restrooms, and picnic areas in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will open the morning of June 4. Exception: Access to Cedar Grove is delayed until afternoon, as Highway 180 east of Hume Lake won't be open until noon of that day.
Facilities, services, and features that will be open:
- Entrance stations for distribution of the park newspaper and map.
- Roads and parking lots throughout both parks, including in the Cedar Grove and Mineral King areas. Please park only in designated parking spaces, and if a parking lot is full, refer to the park newspaper for other options.
- Trails in developed areas and designated wilderness; if a trail is congested, please consider visiting another location with less people.
- Overnight wilderness access with reservations only. No walk-up permits will be available this summer. Existing confirmed wilderness permit reservations for trips beginning June 5 or later are still valid.
- Restrooms and picnic areas. Please practice proper food storage, and per CDC guidance practice social distancing and frequent hand washing.
Facilities, services, and features that will remain closed until later phases:
- Overnight campground accommodations. Please check our 2020 campground information page for the most recent updates.
- Visitor centers, bookstores, ranger stations and wilderness permit stations.
- Overnight lodging, restaurants, markets, and gift shops operated by the concessioner, Delaware North. Please refer to www.visitsequoia.com for more information.
- Guided horseback rides at Cedar Grove and Grant Grove operated by the concessioner, Cedar Grove Pack Station. Please refer to www.cedargrovepackstation.com or www.grantgrovestables.com for more information.
Key Changes to 2020 Summer Season:
- The Sequoia Shuttle will not be in operation this summer.
- Camping reservations through www.recreation.gov will be required, no walk-up camp sites will be available this summer.
- Reservations for overnight wilderness permits will be required ahead of park entry, no walk-up permits will be available this summer. Existing wilderness permit reservations are not cancelled. No wilderness permit stations will be open. Bear canister rentals may not be available in the parks but continue to be required in many areas.
- Lodgepole Visitor Center will not be open this summer season due to renovation project delays.
- Crystal Cave will not be open for tours
- The 2020 Dark Sky Festival has been cancelled.
- Begin with the park website. Here you will find the latest updates, a downloadable Junior Ranger Book, a digital park newspaper, a printable passport book stamp, and more.
- Download the free park mobile app. Search for NPS Sequoia & Kings Canyon in the Apple App and Google Play stores. Use this for maps, self-guided tours and information about nearly 200 park features and locations. Download before you leave home, and be sure to download offline content so that you can use the app where cell phone service is limited.
- Follow us on social media @SequoiaKingsNPS as we provide tips for a successful visit in these new conditions and phased reopening.
- Refer to the park newspaper you receive upon entering the parks. This will be the best resource available during your visit in this first phase. You can find a list of trails to enjoy for each district of the parks, a parking lot map for the Giant Forest, road construction delay schedule, safety information, and more, with new Spanish translations included!
- Area information and maps will be posted outside visitor centers.
- We encourage visitors to review tips for recreating responsibly at www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/recreate-responsibly.htm.
- When fee collection resumes, we highly encourage everyone to purchase a park pass in advance through www.recreation.gov, or be prepared to pay with a credit/debit card.
The health and safety of staff and visitors is our number one priority. We are working with the NPS Office of Public Health and the US Public Health Service to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. In the meantime, we continue to remind our visitors to follow the CDC’s guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including maintaining social distancing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and staying home if you feel sick.
All campground reservations will be cancelled in order to allow the parks to adapt operations and create a more safe and enjoyable experience for visitors. Ahead of campgrounds reopening, the public will be able to once again make reservations for the remainder of the 2020 season. All camping for the 2020 summer season will require a new reservation made prior to visiting. No new camping reservations are being accepted at this time. Group camping has been suspended for the 2020 camping season. For updates and more information about camping, check our 2020 Campground Reopening page.
Overnight Backpacking Trips and Wilderness Permits
Overnight wilderness access is permitted with a reservation. No walk-up permits will be available this summer.
Because of park closures, Special Use Permits for weddings and ceremonies in the parks and Film Permits are now suspended. This order will be in effect until further notice. If you have questions or wish to reschedule, please contact the Commercial Services Office via email for Special Use Permits for weddings or ceremonies or the Public Information Office via email for Film Permits.
Companies operating under Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) are required to abide by all park closures. Any CUA activities that do not abide by park closures and current CDC guidance are suspended. This order will be in effect until further notice. Please contact the Commercial Services Office via email for more information on CUAs or commercial activities in the parks.
For More Information
For a virtual tour of the park, download our free official park app for self-guided tours and information about park features.
More information, updates, and links to specific information about parks can be found on the NPS Public Health Update web page.